HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A young man who crashed his speeding car in Waialua in 2006, killing two teens and seriously injuring a third, side-stepped a prison sentence Wednesday.
After pleading no contest to two counts of negligent homicide and one count of negligent injury, the most Billy Lamug, 21, could receive for each victim was five years in prison. The judge, however, went with probation and community service, leaving the victims' family members stunned.
Still in deep grief nearly four years after a violent car crash, family members and friends of those killed jammed into a courtroom for the young driver's sentencing.
"He took away something from us that was so dear," Gwen Vierra, crash victim's mother, said through tears. "This child was just everything to us."
Prosecutors say Billy Lamug was speeding on Kaukonahua Road -- a winding, poorly-lit roadway -- even as one of his passengers, Lanakila Vierra, 17, was pleading with him to slow down. The car -- believed to be going 60 miles per hour in a 35-mile-per-hour zone -- flipped onto its roof, killing Vierra and Shane Bachiller, 18.
"We know nothing we say or do can ever bring back our beloved Shane and Lanakila," Pat Pedro, Bachiller's mother, said. "We just ask that justice prevails."
Another passenger, then 16-year-old Courtney Enriques, says she underwent 10 excruciating surgeries. One of her toes was amputated.
"The pain, the scars, everything I'm left with," Enriques said through tears. "My self-esteem, my confidence is gone. You took that away from me."
A fourth passenger, Derrick Nacario, was not seriously hurt.
"I want to extend my deepest apologies to the families of Shane, Lanakila, Courtney and Derrick," the convicted driver said. "I think about you guys all the time."
The defense says Lamug's actions were negligent, not reckless or intentional. The then 18-year-old had no prior criminal record, has since graduated from the Universal Technical Institute, and now lives in Arizona.
Circuit Judge Michael Town rejected the request for jail time and, instead, sentenced Lamug to five years probation and 400 hours of community service.
"Lanakila's mom said just a year to sit in jail, think of everything that we went through," Enriques said. "So it is disappointing."
The judge says he will not hesitate to throw Lamug in jail if he violates the terms of his probation.
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